Friday 1 March 2024


On October 25, 1944 the Japanese military employed the Kamikaze bombers for the first time in WW2. Who's a Kamikaze bomber? He is the specially trained pilot who would crash his specially made plane directly into Allied ships. Simply to put it, Kamikaze attack is suicidal bombing tactic to destroy the enemy ships.

Mohotoru Okamura who commanded a Kamikaze Squadron sincerely believed that these dare devil acts would make the tide of war in favour of Japan as he ordered the first Kamikaze pilot to be at the battle of Leyte Gulf, in the Pacific Ocean near Philippines!

In various attacks thereafter more than 3000 Japanese Kamikaze pilots perished while causalities among the US, Australian and British forces might have touched 7000.Nevertheless this did not change the tide of war. Japan had to surrender unconditionally on 16 August 1945!

"Tenno Heika Banzai" literally means " Ten Thousand Years" in Japanese. This they used to express joy or long life. It was also used by the Japanese military personnel while storming in the battle meaning  "Long Live The Emperor". The Kamikaze pilot used to shout exactly these words before he hits the ship of Allied Forces killing himself!


Year 1944...Birth year of Kamikaze.

By the year 1944 it was clearer that the tide of world war was clearly favouring the Allied forces. Japan, one of the trailing Axis Forces was facing defeat one after another whether on land, sea or air. It was in this context that Takijiro Onishi, Admiral of Imperial Japanese Navy, who founded Kamikaze convinced his superiors of having a squadron of suicide bombers attacking and destroying enemy ships to change the tide of war. At least they would be able to negotiate better terms for surrender, Japan thought. But Takijiro had to commit ritual suicide following unconditional surrender of Japan !

Kamikaze means 'divine wind'. It was the name of a typhoon originally which destroyed invading Mongol ships in the 13th century saving Japan.

Kamikaze planes...
The planes used were light bombers loaded with bombs-250 kg on the nose and extra gasoline tanks. Kamikaze planes were  launched with their wheels dropped at take off. This reduces the weight, increase the range and possibly limit the ability of pilot to return. These single seated planes- mostly like Yokosuka MX 7 Okha were used.

Kaiten...torpedoes containing human beings!
Kaitens were an under water equivalent of Kamikaze. These were launched from submarines for direct combat on identified ships. The kaiten was small enough for the pilot to squeeze through and enter the body of torpedo!The pilot verifies the position of the target- a ship normally- by a fitted periscope and then surges for the final assault. The first Kaiten assault claimed USS Mississinewa which was on anchor when hit. 63 US sailors perished!

Kamikaze pilots' training...
Kamikaze pilots were given special training for their special mission. They  performed a special ceremony of drinking Sake (Rice wine) and eating rice before they take off in their mission. They were also honoured by giving medals and a Katana sword (traditional curved sword used by Samurai) during these ceremonies.

By 1945 more than 500 Kamikaze planes had taken part in these suicide missions it is estimated! And 3800 Kamikaze pilots had died!!Many were new recruits from the finest universities of Japan! Although Kamikaze pilots never threatened to change the course of war led by the Allied forces, Kamikaze offensives were a concern for the Allies.

There are a number of books and movies produced based on actual experiences of Kamikaze post war.



  1. 'Strange are the ways in war and love' ,thank you Jaison for throwing more information on Kamikaze and Kaiten fighters. How heroic are warriors when they fight for their Nation is unbelievable.
    Interesting as well as informative.

  2. Very informative and beautiful Presentation

  3. Wow, this was a really insightful read on kamikaze tactics. It's fascinating to go into the historical context and the moral dilemmas surrounding such intense strategies. Great job

  4. Francis John Britto
    Very Informative and Beautifully Presented πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    George Illampillil

  6. Good one. I was not aware that Kamikaze planes discarded their wheels after take off when they were on a mission!

  7. V G THOMAS:


    This is also yet another information that was not known to many people, including myself . In fact, your books should be made available in school and college libraries .
    Thank you, Jaison.

  8. ROBIN THOMAS:Superb one. I have always been fascinated by how the Japanese society endured centuries of brutality between warring factions and now, became the exact opposite and a very peaceful society

    Really enjoyed reading this one πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ



Writing about the end of own life, that too after knowing that it could happen any time is hard to write for anyone. I am not an exception. ...